LifeFlight of Maine plays a unique and essential role within “the chain of survival” by caring for and transporting Maine’s critically ill and injured patients. In 2021, LifeFlight transported 2,300 patients from 136 communities, islands, and unorganized townships—averaging one patient every four hours.
LifeFlight deploys medical teams from bases in Sanford, Lewiston, and Bangor, using three helicopters, a fixed-wing airplane, rapid response vehicles, and specialized ground ambulances. These teams care for Maine 24/7/365, partnering with local EMS, Fire/Rescue, and hospital providers.
Approximately 87% of patients are transported from community hospitals to tertiary hospitals and trauma centers, while 13% are transported directly from the scene of an emergency—roadsides, woods, mountains, and islands.
LifeFlight transports patients of all ages needing specialized care beyond what can be provided by local hospitals—including premature infants, cardiac and stroke patients, patients with complex traumatic injury, sepsis, burns, or with obstetric complications or needing an organ transplant.
LifeFlight uses the strictest medical utilization criteria in the country to make sure all flights are medically necessary.
While most patients are transported to a major medical center in Maine, 12% of patients are taken to Boston and beyond for specialized care not available in the state. Because of the pandemic, the lack of available in-state resources has resulted in longer flights to find available beds and patient care.
LifeFlight operates similarly to a hospital emergency department, caring for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Patient fees cover operational expenses, but we rely on donors who make gifts to the LifeFlight Foundation to support the purchase of aircraft, medical equipment, aviation infrastructure enhancements and provide education and training for the LifeFlight crew and our partners across the state.